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 smoke flares

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graeme
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PostSubject: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:43 am

does any one know the law as regards carrying flares or smoke markers , i know these days with mobile phones and all .
they may not be top of any ones list when traveling , but i go to some places in scotland that don`t get a mobile phone signal and its possable to drive all day and see no one else [ off road] , the cb again i wouldn`t be with out it , but thats no good if your ride is upside down in ditch. these things can happen any were in the world i just used scotland as an example .

some of the more seasoned travelers prob think its over kill even thinking this way , but i`ve read about people being stranded out in the wilds .
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freespirit4x4
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:41 am

is off-road legal in scotland?

all i found was that it is illegal to carry a smoke flare at major football games in scotland Laughing

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graeme
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:49 am

freespirit4x4 wrote:
is off-road legal in scotland?

Laughing

it is when you 1500 acres to use , not mine but i can use it most weekends .
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:38 am

Flares should be made illegal, terrible fashion fopa. Razz

As for the smoke kind, don't think it's a daft idea at all, alough a sattelite phone would eb more useful, if a little bit more expensive. Iteresting question though - are they illegal. Can't be, they sell fireworks after all, and they are nothing but gunpower in tubes. And how about maritime signal flares, they too can be bought over the counter.

Conclusion ... no idea. Hope this helps!

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Assassin
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:44 pm

From an experienced boater:

It is illegal to carry flares unless they conform to the various standards, the marine type should not be carried because they can cause a lifeboat to be launched if a distress one is let off near the sea, and smoke flares burn at high temperatures after they have finished smoking. They could cause a fire very easily over land, and this is the reason they are used only on boats, they have a lot of sea to drop the hot flare into after they finish smoking.

My opinion is that you are leaving yourself wide open to a number of offences if you carry them for land use.

There is another option, these are the smoke type flares which use a gas and powdered, coloured contents which do not burn, these are cool and the only damage they would do is taint the land with the colour, these are those used by the military to allow rescue helicopters to identify a position in water of someone needing rescuing. These operate by using gas pressure to mix the coloured powder as it is evacuated from the container, and send a strong cloud of coloured gas which is visible for miles from the air.
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KarlB
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:13 pm

I think smoke flares are of very marginal value to carry. Their visibility can be very limited in low cloud situations and at night. They also don't last very long (generally a couple of hours at most). I have seen them used effectively when dropped from aircraft to mark an on-ground location for a terrestrial party to find. As a safety device when traveling in remote areas, an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) or PLB (Personal Location Beacon) are the only sensible thing to use. They give out signals that are monitored word wide (as far as I am aware) and give your exact latitude and longitude (inbuilt GPS). They are almost universally water proof and keep transmitting for at least 24 hours. Many also have high intensity strobe lights. You can also take them with you while they are transmitting (you may be heading for shelter in blizzard conditions for example) and the monitoring authorities are aware of your movement and where you are constantly.

Personally, I have this PLB: http://www.gme.net.au/products/emergency-beacons/plbs/MT410G . It only weighs 250 g and is quite small (71 (W) x 135 (H) x 38 (D) mm). The battery lasts for 7 years. It is accurate to better than 100 m.

The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger System is also a very useful device (see http://international.findmespot.com/ ).

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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:49 pm

I'd say go with a sat phone.....more useful, might save you a walk if you can ring a mate to get you if you are bogged or stuck in the river or broken down. I'm sure if you used an EPIRB in vehicle breakdown/immobility cases you'd be up for a hefty fine. They are limited to personal life threatening situations I believe.

I'd think lighting a fire would have more use than a smoke flare. More chance of it getting seen at least. A smoke flare has a limited window of time to be seen. I was going to say, 1500 acres is not huge property to walk out of, but it might be very difficult terrain Wink

Hehe...I know my friend wishes she'd had a sat phone when she got her 4WD stuck in the river on their 6,500 acre farm. Took her 6 hrs to walk back to the house Very Happy
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:23 am

A 6,500 acre farm? Strewth, that's a hellava lot of exercise!

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Vixen
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:10 am

Tom Mc wrote:
A 6,500 acre farm? Strewth, that's a hellava lot of exercise!

If I had a cool $20mill Tom, I'd buy the place next door to that 6,500 acre farm......it's about 10,000 acres......perfect to get lost on Twisted Evil And great neighbours Very Happy

Over here, that's relatively small acreage farming Wink
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graeme
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:17 am

thanks for all the advice every one , time to start looking at sat phones . :o
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simonandsarah
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PostSubject: Re: smoke flares    Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:58 pm

After our year in NZ (which is relatively compact but we still felt very isolated at times especially on South Island) we decided to look at the issue of requesting assistance in remote areas as we are now exploring some seriously empty parts of Australia.
Satellite phones are expensive and we walk/cycle extensively so it would be another load in the rucksack so we decided to purchase a SPOT PLB. The latest model allows you to set up 5 different message scenarios which with careful planning should sort out most issues. The 'big red button' should alert the emergency services to your need for assistance in a life threatening situation and gives your location and a link to Google maps/satellite pictures - you leave your personal details and contacts on the website. A second ' big black button' is used to summons non life threatening assistance eg roadside assistance.
Less urgent messages can be programmed in under the following categories a) a regular check in type message which we send once a week to up to ten people via SMS or email, b) a more personal message which could be regarding a rendezvous or similar but in fact we submit our daily position to a trusted friend and finally c) a tracking message which transmits our location every 10 minutes which we use when going on long walks/rides so people can log on to check our progress.
The unit was good value, the annual subscription reasonable and so far the performance faultless - after 30 years of outdoor activities both professionally and socially I would now never be without such a unit and will be badgering friends to get one. We now keep ours with us at all times (it is about the size of a ciggy packet) as whilst we are pretty sensible you never know who or what may be round the corner and the ability to be able to do something may one day save a life.
No one solution will ever be perfect but for us the appeal is that the unit is with us, not fixed to a dashboard, locked in the glovebox or charging at the back - we ensure that it is always within reach should we ever roll in to that ditch, get caught out by a bush fire or medically affected whilst half way up or down a mountain!
If you check out the link on our blog you will be able to see the system in real time use : www.sastt.blogspot.com
Even if you are only out locally things could go very badly wrong so if you have a birthday coming up drop hints - seriously don't wait until Christmas.
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